Some days ago, I had an odd dream. I saw myself with some other women who were feeling neglected and abused. They were huddled together like they were protecting each other. I went close to them and comforted them. Then, I think, I took a couple of women to a safe location. When I woke up, I did not fully realize why I was dreaming this way. I tried throwing this thought out of my mind for some while since I was busy handling the changes that were being caused by this pandemic. I found online that domestic abuse cases are on rise due to COVID-19 lockout. I wanted to ignore this topic because I was tired; but, today something compelled me to sit down and write this blog post.

Coronavirus outbreak is a very special case. We are going through a very traumatic event; people tend to ignore their real emotions and feelings during traumatic events, which is dangerous because this is how emotions and feelings tend to pile up and become even more stronger. This is actually very wrong dangerous because this way the human mind forgets moderation when letting things out. Right now, both victim and abuser must realize what they are going through. This will promote empathy only in some cases; in other cases, this will only create a game of power and control.

Here are some tips about how to survive.

  1. Stay positive and repeat helpful mantras like, “I have gone through worse. This will pass”.
  2. Involve one or more friends. Talk to them over the phone or internet given that you have access to these. Otherwise, leave a call for help when the abuser does not suspect that you would do so. For example, tell your pharmacist.
  3. If you feel the abusers will stop due to a mild threat like “I will tell someone”, then tell your abuser(s) that.
  4. Call 9/11 if something severe happens. If you can’t talk because you are too afraid or scattered to do so, then answer the operator’s questions by pressing keys on your phone. This is called the Silent solution.
  5. Consider moving to a friend’s place if possible.
  6. Do easy things that reduce abuse, such as staying inside your room.
  7. Contact your local agency for help. Only some shelters are currently open in Canada. For example, all the family violence emergency shelters of Manitoba are going to remain open during the coronavirus outbreak.
  8. Get any funds that your country might be offering right now. For example, Canada is offering aid to homeless and women who are escaping gender-based violence.
  9. Document what is being done and when exactly. This should help you stop abuse as well as identify any helpful patterns.
  10. You are the expert! You know how to handle your situation! You need to trust your basic instincts while handling your abuse.

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Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

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